Interdisciplinary investigations and cross-sector interventions: Revisioning Academic Accountability

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Although the astonishing growth of the "new studies"-feminist, ethnic, cultural, and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT)- and their achievements in paradigm shifting popularized interdisciplinarity in humanities and social-science circles during the 1980s, these fields did not innovate the synthesizing techniques and structures that make it possible to produce hybridized knowledges. Since the early twentieth century, scientists and scholars have launched hybrid fields across the boundaries separating not only their disciplines from one another but also academe from nonacademic sectors. In Crossing Boundaries: Knowledge, Disciplinarities, and Interdisciplinarities, Julie Thompson Klein traces interdisciplinary and cross-sector knowledge to the late-nineteenth-century project of land-grant universities and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which together set up stations in farming states to conduct research on agricultural problems and educate farmers about practical matters (175). It is no accident that Klein chose, as a pioneering example, a field that combined science and technology, research and application, for most interdisciplinary fields from about 1900 to the present have hybridized sciences and/or technologies-for instance, astrophysics, artificial intelligence, biochemistry, biomedical engineering, cybernetics, environmental studies, immunopharmacology, interfacial engineering, molecular biology, plate tectonics, radio astronomy, and solid-state physics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInterdisciplinarity and Social Justice: Revisioning Academic Accountability
Subtitle of host publicationRevisioning Academic Accountability
EditorsRanu Samantrai, Joe Parker, Mary Romero
Place of PublicationAlbany
PublisherState University of New York Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9781438431352
StatePublished - 2010


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